Electronic artist

darker electric sound with pop familiarity

“Everything about me changed like midnight,” confesses Taylor Swift halfway through her latest album, the aptly named and moody Midnights.

It’s a moment on the electric midnight rain which finds lyricist Swift at her best, reminding you of her unparalleled ability to make any emotion universal.

‘Midnights’

Artist: Taylor Swift

Label: Archives of the Republic

Evaluation: 4/5

Click through the gallery above to see Taylor Swift’s album cover to date

The chorus of the song begins: “It was sunshine, I was midnight rain. And to continue: “He wanted it to be comfortable, I wanted this pain. He wanted a wife, I was making my own name. In pursuit of this fame. He remained the same. Then, this word: “All of me changed like midnight.” The sound feels experimental for Swift, opening with her own voice artificially reduced to an almost unrecognizable pitch. It’s one of the most interesting sounds on the album, an indie-pop beat that recalls the work of its producer Jack Antonoff on Lorde’s. Melodramabut also fresh and captivating.

The song’s lyrics, by Swift and Antonoff, are smooth and detailed, but not distracting – letting you sink into the beat, flow and feel it with her.

Of the 13 titles of Midnights, a self-aware Swift shows her ability to evolve again. For her 10th original album, the pop star, 32, tackles the themes she grew up writing about – love, loss, childhood, fame – with a maturity that translates into sharp vocals and lyrics focused more on his inner life than on his outer personality. .

midnight rain could be a thesis statement for the project she describes as “songs written for 13 sleepless nights,” a fitting take on the concept album for someone with a long-standing lyrical appreciation for late nights (think Style: “midnight, you come to get me, no headlights…”).

Of course, she centered her work on themes before – on Redan ode to color and the emotions it represents, “reputation”, his own vindictive reconfiguration, and more recently on folklore and stillquarantine albums that express vulnerability in a way only isolation could.

But Swift presents Midnights as something different: a collection of songs that don’t have to go together, but do fit together because she declared them to be products of late-night inspiration. Positioning listeners situationally – in the calm but thoughtful darkness of the night – rather than thematically, feels like a natural creative experiment for a songwriter so prolific his albums have become synonymous with the culture zeitgeist. pop.

Jack Antonoff, producer of

And with that comes a tone that’s just a little darker, a little more experimental, and still electric.

track one, lavender mistcombines a muffled club beat and high-pitched backing vocals from Antonoff with a remarkable, driving melody from Swift. Bordeaux is an adult and altered version of Reda dive into lost love with rich descriptions of rust, red lipstick – images that Swift reconjures with more bite.

Labyrinth makes it clear that she took with her the best of her previous pop experiences – the synth of 1989 and the softer alternate sounds of folklore — as she admits, as only a songwriter can, a heartbreak “feels as raw as it does right now, lost in the maze of my mind,” plus a track with electronic trills à la Good Iver.

Swift shines when she is able to marry her signature lyrical musings with this new arena of electronic beats. And while it’s not another album of acoustic indie sounds like folkloreit’s clear that Swift has taken a step forward in the indie-pop genre — even if it’s a step in a different direction.

The weakest moments on the album are where that balance feels off. Bejeweled is a bit too sweet, with lyrics that sound like an updated, sparkly version Me! The highly anticipated snow on the beachstarring Lana Del Rey, is poetic, pretty, and occasionally cheeky, but not as emotionally deep as the combined power of the lyricists would suggest.

Even in those times, Midnights finds Swift comfortable in her musical skin, revealing the strengths of a sharp, ever-evolving artist who can wink through ever-cryptic allusions to her very public life or subtle self-proprieties scattered throughout the world. medium of lyrical confessions (see: Anti-hero and Brain) and hook even the casual listener with an alluring, and perhaps surprising, beat.

But like the soaked in love Loverand intimate folklore and still, Midnights looks like both a confessional and a playground, designed by every version of Swift we’ve seen so far, ready for a new Taylor Swift to shine.

Updated: October 21, 2022, 6:40 a.m.

‘Midnights’

Artist: Taylor Swift

Label: Archives of the Republic

Evaluation: 4/5